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Cako Bakery personalizes shopping experience with mPOS

Cako Bakery has implemented a comprehensive mobile technology to personalize the in-store experience and increase customer loyalty.

The technology stems from a recent partnership between Revel and Index that integrates loyalty programs straight into the mobile point-of-sale system. Instead of having to scan a mobile or physical coupon and then manually add it to a bill, Cako can now automatically apply offers via its mobile POS.

“We were looking for an integrated solution for all of our systems,” said Albert Chen, owner of Cako Bakery, San Francisco.

“Previously our loyalty and coupon system was not integrated into our POS,” he said. “It was a separate system and difficult to manage.

“The Revel/Index solution provides an integrated solution for our separate systems. [It] has made loyalty management a lot easier. Cako customers can track and redeem points and redeem special promotions.”

Cako Bakery was founded in San Francisco in 2009 and now has six locations in San Francisco and San Jose, CA.

Cako POS
By integrating the combined technology of Index and Revel, Cako is able to personalize the shopping experience.

Via Index’s platform, Cako can reward customers for sharing an email, swiping a credit card, checking into stores or interacting online. All of these interactions combine to create a unified customer profile that can then integrate with Revel‘s mobile POS system, which provides employees with tablets as the front-facing unit.

This means that consumers can get exclusive deals and coupons as well as pay with loyalty points directly through Cako’s POS system.

According to Mr. Chen, this system is easier to use than Cako’s previous loyalty and POS technology. It means that consumers do not have to carry around punch cards or coupons.

Instead they simply log-in to their account in-store, and their points and coupons are automatically added.

Cako also recently launched an iOS app that connects to the Revel/Index system. When consumers download it for free, they will receive a free cupcake.

Via the app, consumers can earn rewards and get personalized perks as well as make an actual payment via beacon technology. When a consumer is ready to checkout at Cako, they select “Pay with Index” on the iPad register and enter a five-digit PIN, which triggers the sale.

Points and perks will be applied automatically.

Getting to know the customer
One of the challenges with bricks-and-mortar stores is connecting with customers and understanding who is in the physical store. For online commerce, retailers can easily tell who is shopping and target specific customers with personalized deals and messaging.

With bricks-and-mortar stores, however, the customer remains anonymous. Mobile technology has the power to shift that in-store reality.

“Today a lot of customers come in and out of stores; [merchants] don’t have a strong sense of who they are,” said Marc Freed-Finnegan, cofounder and CEO of Index, San Francisco. “Without a really strong understanding of who his customers are, it’s hard for [merchants] to really engage, get them to come more frequently.

“What’s important is that we want to be able to identify every customer and because of our integration with Revel, loyalty has become part of the transactions,” he said.

By tying customers to a mobile POS system, Cako can better understand its shoppers and ultimately serve more personalized offers. The bakery can use data from past purchases to get a better idea of what consumers may be interested in.

Cako can also push new products by messaging consumers when they enter a store and recommending a new cupcake.

“Mobile is the best ‘customer identification card’ available,” Cako’s Mr. Chen said. “They don’t have to carry anything separate around and we can securely identify a customer with it.

“All of our loyalty points, coupons and special discounts can be redeemed automatically through the Cako mobile app,” he said. “It solves many of our problems with a single solution.

“We can distribute promotions to our most loyal customers easily and they are automatically applied.”

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York